Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Planning for the future

At some point many people will reach a stage where they may become unable to make decisions for themselves.  This may be due to illness such as dementia or a stroke or they may simply no longer want the responsibility in their older years.  It is therefore incredibly important that somebody is nominated to have lasting power of attorney (LPA).

An LPA allows that person - known legally as your 'attorney' - to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer in a position to make them yourself.  There are two types of LPA - a property and finances LPA and a health and care LPA. You don't have to make both at the same time.

You need to choose someone you trust who you believe knows you well and will act in your best interests.  They must be trustworthy and have the necessary skills to take on the responsibility and be someone you can always rely on.  They will have to be over 18 and if making financial and property decisions, cannot have been declared bankrupt.

Most people pick family members, such as their partner and/or children, but you can appoint a professional such as a solicitor if you prefer.  Bear in mind that they will charge for their time.

You can include preferences and instructions in your LPA to guide your attorneys or limit their authority.  However such instructions  must be worded very carefully otherwise they will not take effect.  It is never too early to make LPAs but sadly it can very often be too late so don't delay.

For specialist advice on how to create LPAs exactly to suit your wishes, call Jennifer Slater at Hansford Bell Law in Tavistock on 01822 619805 to fix up an appointment either in the office or at home.

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